Why Stress is Necessary?

anxiety

Stress, like all emotions serves an evolutionary function, that is, it is in essence something adaptive, something designed by nature to enhance our life. In the right measure stress is a motivator, it primes us to prepare, stress heightens our senses and awareness to optimise our performance. Without stress we would be consistently under prepared, we could do be able to respond appropriately, effectively and in a time efficient way to challenges.

Stress enables us to reach our potential, it a key factor in our success as a race. However, stress only enhances us if it remains within certain parameters, too much stress can undermine us, undo us, it extreme cases it can lead to both physical and psychological problems that can prevent us not just from functioning in an optimum way, but functioning at all.

One way of thinking about our capacity for stress and what an optimum level of stress might be, is to consider an internal bucket that holds the stress that we experience. When this bucket is about a third to half full of stress we are probably functioning in a reasonably effective way, meeting and coping with challenging. At this level there is still plenty of capacity in our bucket for unexpected (and stressful) challenges, which we can adequately deal with allowing our stress level to then return to their baseline.

However when the stress levels in our internal bucket go past the halfway point, we will start to experience some negative side effects of stress; including headaches, digestive problems, sleep disturbance, relationship problems, anxiety and depression.

When our bucket is fuller we have less capacity for the unexpected, meaning that we can think less clearly and cope less well. When stress levels rise too high and our bucket overflows we become vulnerable to more unpleasant psychological problems including panic attacks. When you hear that someone has had a ‘break down’ it is safe to assume that their bucket has overflowed.

To keep stress levels at an optimum level, try and keep the following in mind:

· Make sure your day consists of a balance of things that you WANT to do and things that you HAVE to do.

· Work out where you boundaries are (physical and psychological) and say ‘No’ when someone tries to make you step outside of them.

· Manage your own internal expectations, don’t expect more of yourself than you would of others.

· Pause to appreciate and enjoy your achievements; don’t just rush on to the next thing.

· Try to adopt a kind and accepting attitude to yourself, focusing on what you can do and what you do have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Credit cards

The 9 Challenges of January

If December is the ‘season to be jolly’, January is the season to be depressed. Hot on the heels of the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ is the most emotionally and psychologically challenging. At The British CBT & Counselling Service requests for therapy triple in January with people feeling more depressed and anxious than at any other time. So why is this time of the year so difficult?

Read More »
bullying

Am I being bullied at work?

When it comes to this question there can be confusion with regard to what constitutes workplace bullying and, what to do about it. What is workplace bullying? The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlight there is no legal definition for workplace bullying, however they describe it as “negative behaviour being targeted at an individual, or individuals, repeatedly and persistently over time”.

Read More »
Mr worry

Reduce Stress – Improve Your Time Management

One of the main sources of stress and anxiety is poor time management. Here are 7 basic skills to improve your productivity: 1. Get started Obvious maybe, but a common problem is finding the motivation to get started. Research has shown that one of the main differences between good students and average students is their ability to get down to

Read More »